Curtis Crisler’s New Book “…Out-Schools Every School of American Poetry”

Curtis L. Crisler’s new book, “This” Ameri-Can-ah (Cherry Castle Publishing, 2016) “out-schools every school of American poetry.” That’s according to Jericho Brown, American Book Award Winner. Indiana’s Poet Laureate George Kalamaras called Crisler “…the bone man, the heart man, the roaming coyote-man howling from the breath’s bowels.” And the praises don’t stop there. “Curtis L. Crisler has a […]

Universal Children’s Day – No Age Limit on Making a Difference

Ryleigh Kastra and Joshua Williams fed needy people in their communities. Rachel Beckwith brought clean water to African villagers. These young people, all of whom Youth Service America (YSA) recognized as Everyday Young Heroes, weren’t in their teens when they decided to make a difference…they were children. Yesterday was Universal Children’s Day, which the United […]

Arts Summit Revives SW Community

There are no pews in this darkened sanctuary. Atop the booming pulpit, a DJ spins a sampled sermon for the head-nodding congregation, colored in sweeping orange and yellow spotlights, the few among them kicking MF Doom lyrics the way a disciplined believer spits scripture. The revival on the second floor is fitting for hiphop’s holy […]

Curtis Crisler: Migration of a Latchkey Boy

Curtis Crisler’s unnamed speaker is a griot of sorts. His distant kin, fleeing from Jim Crow and southern domestic terrorism, joins the 5 million African Americans who decide to roll out. But they aren’t the first to do so. Others left before them during the first Great Migration (1910 to 1930), which swept two-thirds of 1.6 million […]

The Residency and Immersion

Jaed Coffin’s goal is to aim for the big idea when he’s working on a writing project, often immersing himself in his subjects’ worlds. And he didn’t expect anything less from his students, who he urged yesterday to do their subjects’ stories justice by giving readers the big picture. There was a lot to take […]

2012 Awards Mark Best Year Ever for DC-based Nonprofit

Full disclosure: I’m the senior program director for the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop. We’re always bragging about our students. They’re always doing amazing things. Here’s another post about what they’ve accomplished. TyJuan Hogan threw off the gloves when he stepped to the mic last Saturday. Earlier, while the other finalists read their poems aloud, the […]

How Linette Got Her Scream Back

  Linette Marie Allen heard it first 20 years ago. A freshman Business major in her first semester then at Howard University, she wasn’t aware yet of what she would later call her “inner scream.” The introduction came on the fall of 1990 in the basement of the university’s Blackburn Center. That night, she was […]

Zine Gives Black Filmmakers A Platform

As a self-described “movie buff,” Crystyn C. Wright loves films, especially those reflecting the lives of African Americans. At one time, the Bronx-native, going by mainstream’s offerings, settled on the assumption that not enough black filmmakers were producing those films. That assumption was corrected after she traveled to various film festivals. But Wright, a journalist […]